What will inspire you to get involved in creating sustainable change? We are all motivated to create positive change for different reasons. Some of us see wounded animals or a polluted stream, we notice our own over consumption, we become sick from environmental toxins, or we consider the impact of this human-made devastation on future generations.
Sushanta Bhandarkar is the founder and an educator at Empowering World Change(EWC), an organization teaching the next generation how to make sustainable choices. They teach youth who in turn educate their family and friends about the great power and responsibility we all hold. Through programs in schools and community outreach they are encouraging us all to consume less and take action today instead of waiting for a leader to arrive. They are creating a ripple effect that started in a hot shower.
What inspired you to educate others about environmental sustainability? What steps did you take to start this particular journey? Believe it or not, the inspiration for Empowering World Change came during my long hot shower. Yes, my last long hot shower. I grew up with an early interest in sustainability. Growing up, the concept of reduce, reuse, repair and recycle – basically, do not waste – was always instilled upon me by my parents. Now as a parent myself, I involve my son in making sensible, effective and conscious choices for our family. The sustainability sentiment has been brewing very strongly inside me for many years and my family and I do what we can to reduce our carbon footprint and have minimal waste.
But is this enough? Mere sentiment without action is of no use and I felt that I needed to do more to further this process in the community. I have been wanting to co‐write a book on environmental issues with my son, but we kept going back and forth between super‐heroes and wanting to do something different. And on one hot long tiring day as I was taking a long hot shower (and that was the end of it. I am now a proponent of 3-minute showers), my son was knocking on the door as if I was depleting the entire water supply for the planet. Although annoyed, I stopped showering and started thinking. And it was right there and then that ‘Empowering World Change’ was born. In the shower. My son is my inspiration.
Having green super-heroes or environmental police in all homes is all I could think of. Children have such a direct and honest way of communicating ideas and words simply and effectively. Their enthusiasm can effect change not only within their families but also in their schools and communities, thus generating powerful results. Once they “get it” they are just brilliant at promoting, advertising and propagating this knowledge. Why not use their help and enthusiasm to make this possible? The concept of spreading environmental awareness in schools started taking shape.
In working together with like-minded wonderful enthusiastic folks, who share the same passion for sustainability and education, the program is quickly developing into a meaningful, substantial project, and has generated a lot of interest and positive response so far. Our presence has expanded from schools (Elementary, Middle and High Schools) to Colleges and Libraries to include non-profit organizations, city events and festivals. We also talk about GreenBuilding and Sustainability, Eco-entrepreneurship and Eco Fashion.
Through this program, I am trying to reach out to everyone in the community to join me in this wonderful opportunity to spread environmental awareness. Do it for yourself, for your family and friends, for the future, for the planet. Whatever your reasons, take action.
What was or are the hardest obstacle(s) to overcome in getting your message to the masses? Attitude. The attitude of entitlement. The attitude that people need not care or worry about what is going on. The attitude of convenience. Mind you we are not against convenience, but if it comes at a cost then we surely have to think about an alternate solution. To achieve any kind of sustainable transition, we are in a desperate need of change in our attitude, behavior and values. We need to choose actions that will do no further harm but possibly make things a little better and take the focus away from our addiction to consume and living a more thoughtful, meaningful, interesting life.
What is your proudest accomplishment so far in relation to your work? Anytime we get an email or a note from a parent telling us about the changes they have made in their lifestyle that are healthier for the planet – that right there is our proudest moment. Our message to the world is very simple and we are thrilled when we see people embrace it, live it and promote it.
So we encourage you to contact us and tell us your story. Let us know your thoughts and ideas on steps you have taken to better our environment. You never know who you may inspire!
How can people get involved either through your work or in their own communities? It is our belief that when we all take positive steps on a regular basis, the results can add up to something really big. So take those positive steps. Be the change. Inspire your family, friends and colleagues. Reach out to your community. Start somewhere. Do something. Stick to it. We are ALL in this TOGETHER. We vote with our dollars. We, as consumers can set the tone for the kind of world we want. Every little thing you do counts. Doing nothing is no longer an option.
Please check our website under ‘Programs’ to see how to get us involved in your school or community for very interactive and fun presentations and clothing and e-waste drives. Contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Please consider the impact of our everyday actions. Whether you are driving, sleeping, celebrating…our actions have an impact, mostly negative, on our planet and hence us! Please be aware and please make the changes. As parents it is our honor, pleasure and duty to raise kids that are environmentally and socially responsible. This is easier said than done. Besides switching off lights, saving water and eating organic food, we need to create a non-consumerist mindset which we so desperately need at this moment. Our children, the youth of today, are the leaders of tomorrow. Parents, please lead by example.
Remember: “Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you can’t breathe the air and drink the water. Don’t sit this one out. PLEASE DO SOMETHING. Not doing anything is no longer an option for us.”
Learn more and get involved at:
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/EmpoweringWorldChange
Follow our sister business page on Eco-chic Handbags: www.facebook.com/Eco.Chic.ZansusPurses
We are passionate and committed to making a difference in the environment through educational awareness and community involvement.
Email us at email@example.com to see how you can get involved!
This interview is from a book that includes 10 other amazing people who are creating positive change. You can read the full book and buy a copy for your school at Bookemon.com. Buy the e-book for 99 Cents on Amazon.com.